As Brendel picked up the tooth, he glanced warmly at Filas beside him. This guy was a wealth-bringer. If he brought Filas along every time they went on a side-quest, it probably wouldn’t take him too long to be outfitted with all the god-tier equipments?
Of course he knew that was just wishful thinking. Filas and Laurenna couldn’t stay in Aouine forever. As soon as Arreck died, they would return to Kirrlutz along with Veronica.
“Ohh, this is Skeletal Dragon's tooth?” Filas seemed to have recognized the item in Brendel’s hand.
Brendel paused and asked in surprise, “You know it?”
“Ah, I think I’ve heard of it.” Filas answered, a little proud of himself. “I heard that this is the tooth that was taken from Madara’s Giant Skeletal Dragon, right?”
“That’s not right.” Before Brendel could say anything, Haruz interrupted from beside them. He answered in his still childish voice, “Madara’s Giant Skeletal Dragon was just a monster pieced together from the Eruya Dragon. The real Giant Spirit Dragon is a mature dragon who has died. Only a few giant dragons have become spirits in all of Vaunte. Their powers didn’t differ that much from when they were alive. Even the Emperor with the Mercury Staff pays them the utmost respect --”
“Hmmm.” Brendel shifted his gaze toward the little prince. The latter blushed and his soft curls lay obediently flat against his forehead. Accompanied by the glinting of the crystals in the darkness, his eyes shone and looked effeminate. But Haruz insisted, “My sister told me all of this.”
“Your sister, Princess Gryphine?” Filas asked.
“My sister said that Marada was the true enemy of Aouine. Kirrlutz might have always tried to control the Kingdom, but you wouldn’t destroy the Kingdom in a sea of fire. But for the Undead, the boundary between life and death can be easily broken…”
Haruz looked at Filas, as if these sentiments had been stuck on his mind for a while, and asked, “But I’ve always wondered. If we’re all human, why can’t we band together against the monsters from the dark?”
“Well…” Filas felt self-conscious at the chiding and scratched his hair.
Brendel looked at the guy with slight sympathy. He couldn’t explain to Haruz that actually, Madara’s skeletal frame couldn’t exactly be counted as a monster since the dead were also part of the world. They weren’t really immortal, they just existed in a different manner.
Actually in Vaunte, Marada’s Undead, Kirrlutz’s humans, Sanorsor’s Wild Elves all believed in Marsha, who represented order. It’s just that one worshipped the order of darkness and one believed in the light.
But he couldn’t say that Princess Gryphine was wrong. The boundary between life and death was fragile, but the two represented different ways of existing. The Undead have invaded the eastern borders of Aouine for centuries and there were countless examples like Bucce. As a human, it was hard to consider the problem from the Undead’s angle.
He sighed and ruffled the young prince’s hair. “Did your sister tell you all this?”
“Lady Maynild said some too…”
Brendel had pretty much guessed this, but he had no desire to continue the conversation. He patted the young prince’s shoulders and then turned to yank the armor off the skeleton. The already decaying skeleton separated under the force of his actions.
“Sir Brendel, you…” Filas jumped. Scarlet, who had been behind them this entire time, stared at her leader in astonishment. Highlanders, like nobles, were extremely respectful of the dead.
But Brendel looked at the armor and explained. “You can probably figure out that an average human wouldn’t be walking around with a bone plate with words or a cursed sword. Only one type of creature would use them.”
Filas hesitated and then realization struck. “Wait, Count Trenthem, are you saying that…”
Brendel nodded. He could basically be sure that this thing had been a skeleton while it was “alive”. Very likely it had been a Bone Knight. He had been influenced by the walkthrough earlier, but now that he thought about it - the walkthrough had been made very early on. Things like Cryptic Bone Plates had only become known as players leveled up later on in the game, so it was completely possible that the walkthroughs missed them.
This thing served as a reminder that because of the difference in time, some of the walkthroughs had limitations. He had to make decisions based on his own experience.
Brendel handed the armor to Filas. “This is a set of Demonic Armor. Bone Knights and their armor didn’t have any special powers, but the defense on these things is extraordinary. Change into this in a bit because from here on out, we won’t be just encountering demonic spirits.”
Filas frowned as he looked at the dirty and grimy armor in Brendel’s hands. Magical armor was rare and valuable, even in Amber Sword. Of course he knew it but for him to wear something that just came off a dead body was really…
Filas swallowed and then said tentatively, “Okay. I will try to wash it.” He certainly understood that he was the weakest link in the current team. Brendel gave him this set of armor so that he wouldn’t drag the rest of the team down as much in the future.
But no matter what, he gave Brendel a grateful look and then took the armor, still covered with the stink of decay.
Brendel then turned around. He guessed that they were about done outside so he hurried up. This time, he pulled out the weapon the Bone Knight had used previously -- a sword in the shape of a flame.
As soon as he pulled the sword out, Haruz let out a gasp from behind them.
“What is it?” Filas was now familiar with this little prince and asked immediately.
“This is a Lion’s Fang.” Brendel looked admiringly at the sword in his hand. He continued with slight surprise, “this is the sword guards of King Erik used to wear. Its method of creation has been lost for centuries. I guess we now know a bit of this knight’s history ---”
“Yes.” Haruz nodded heavily.
“Is there something wrong with the sword?” Filas looked at the way Haruz’s eyes glinted and asked curiously.
“No, it’s very good.” Brendel raised the sword in the weak light of the shining crystal and smiled. “King Erik had 11 knights around him, each of them a legend in their own right. Oh, that’s right. You’ve seen the knight beside Freya that never says anything or does anything, right?”
Filas nodded uncomprehendingly. Of course he had seen the Knight of the Lake that always kept his distance from everyone else.
“They’re all legends…”
Brendel remarked as he turned the blade over and handed the sword, hilt first, to Haruz. He smiled at the little prince from Aouine and asked, “How is it?”
Haruz looked on, stunned by the Count’s gesture.
“Count-Count Trentheim… you’re giving it to me?” He almost couldn’t believe it.
“The historical texts say that The Lion’s Fang belongs to someone who’s truly courageous. The way you fought before, I wouldn’t call you an excellent fighter. But only someone who conquered themselves could be considered a true warrior --”
Brendel answered and then continued. “Unless you don’t think it’s worthy of you? Prince Haruz?”
“No… I - I just think…” Haruz was both surprised and excited. His eyes glinted beautifully like a silver jewel and his small face turned red as he struggled to say, “But this is the sword of a hero. I- I just think that…”
“You just think that you’re not worthy of it?” Brendel shook his head. “If you think you need to become braver, then you definitely need to pick up this sword and prove yourself.”
“Besides, you don’t need to prove yourself for a sword --”
Brendel handed Harzu the sword. “You won this. Legend says that Highlander men declare themselves of age when they get their own weapon. From now on, this sword is your responsibility.”
Brendel looked up as he said so and saw Scarlet nodding slightly at him from a distance.
“I- I understand, Count Trenthetim…”
That was Haruz’s barely audible voice.